Dick Van Dyke didn't like panel shows
When it came to TV show formats, Van Dyke had his favorites.
Dick Van Dyke could do anything. He was a talented sitcom star, giving a face to the beleaguered everyman in The Dick Van Dyke Show. He was a movie star, shouldering productions like Bye, Bye Birdie! and Mary Poppins, to which he brought warmth and humanity, as well as comedy. Dick Van Dyke was also a talented host, as proved on shows like The Morning Show, Cartoon Theatre, The Garry Moore Show, Mother's Day, and Laugh Line. He was even in The Masked Singer, wowing crowds as The Gnome in the show's Season 9 premiere.
In a career spanning seven decades, though, one might develop some preferences.
"I don't particularly like panel shows," Dick Van Dyke told The Buffalo News in 1958. This was after he had spent time as a regular on the gameshow mainstay, To Tell the Truth.
"I don't feel very funny sitting still. It's easy and fun to do, but it just isn't my type of thing. I'm a physical type of performer."
While Van Dyke doubtlessly brought plenty of laughs to whichever show he was on, the panel show format didn't allow him to, say, trip over an ottoman on the way into a room.
He wouldn't have been brought back on To Tell the Truth had he not been the man for the job. But while he was a talented, witty improviser, to Van Dyke, his approach to comedy had much more to do with his body.
"When I was 12 years old," he recalled, "I was 6'1" and 140 pounds. I was always something of a village idiot."
Luckily for fans everywhere, Danville, Illinois' very own village idiot brought plenty of physicality to a long, storied comedy career.